RANKING THE PAC-12:
1. PAUL PERKINS, UCLA
Stats: 82 carries, 514 yards, 6.3 avg., 6 TDs
Comment: Averaged 8.4 yards per carry in two of UCLA’s four games, and scored three TDs in blowout win at Arizona. Perkins led the league in rushing in 2014, and through four games this season he ranks second behind Nick Wilson – and Perkins rushed for only 56 yards on 14 carries in the Bruins’ season opener against Virginia.
2. NICK WILSON, ARIZONA
Stats: 86 carries, 570 yards, 6.6 avg., 5 TDs
Comment: Strength of schedule keeps Wilson from a No. 1 ranking despite the fact he leads the league in rushing. He was one of a few Wildcats who did play well last week in a 56-30 loss to UCLA, rushing for 136 yards on 24 carries.
3. ROYCE FREEMAN, OREGON
Stats: 69 carries, 450 yards, 6.5 avg., 5 TDs
Comment: Oregon’s offense might be taking a step back this season, but that’s not Freeman’s fault. Even in the Ducks’ humiliating loss to Utah last week, he averaged 5.5 yards per carry but finished with only 77 yards because the Ducks had to abandon the run after falling so far behind. If Oregon wants to turn its season around, it would do well to keep feeding the strong, sturdy sophomore.
(Last week’s ranking in parentheses)
1. Utah (4): Undefeated with a 42-point win at Autzen Stadium? Yeah, the Utes are a deserving No. 1.
2. UCLA (1): Injuries are piling up, but Bruins looked awfully impressive in rout of Arizona.
3. Stanford (2): Christian McCaffrey might be the best player in the Pac-12 nobody is talking about.
4. USC (7): Steve Sarkisian was 0-for-the-desert as UW’s coach but led Trojans to big win in Tempe, Arizona, last week.
5. California (5): At 4-0, Golden Bears trying to make most of the (likely) final season of Jared Goff era.
6. Arizona (6): How did Arizona get blown out at home by UCLA and stay at No. 6? Well, do any of the teams below deserve to be higher?
7. Arizona State (9): How did ASU get blown out at home by USC and move up two spots? Well, do any of the teams below deserve to be higher?
8. Oregon (3): Hard to remember a lower point for the Ducks’ program in the past seven or eight years. Blowout loss to Utah. Injuries to key players.
9. Washington (8): After tough home loss to Cal, Huskies have extra time to prepare for reunion with Sark and his USC coaching staff.
10. Colorado (10): Buffaloes likely kicking themselves for not being 4-0. And yet here they are, only an eight-point home underdog against Oregon.
11. Washington State (11): Cougars can really help themselves with a quality performance at Cal this week. A win wouldn’t hurt, either.
12. Oregon State (12): Couldn’t keep up with Stanford, but Seth Collins is a young QB to keep an eye on.